Archives for posts with tag: sonnet

The apartment empty of furniture as if cleared for a realtor’s viewing, but it was enby because Tamara had cleared out every stick, every dust mote, anything that could be moved while Thom was stuck in that freeze in Houston.

‘I know you’ve got your big oil company presentation, but if you stay one extra night this time, I swear I’m leaving.’

One time, on one trip, Thom had hooked up with a colleague and ever since, Tamara had given him this spiel. And there was no winning. It’s not like he had even come home late, but that was Tammy’s fear – that any day he was away longer than planned, it was a day he was fucking around. So she hung this albatross on him that he always had to be back on his planned flight. When he got home as planned, she always tried to make it worth his while, but the threat hung over everything.

He was only supposed to be in Texas for four days, but curse everything, it was the week the whole state froze. He called as often as the power situation would enable him to and tried to calm her fears. 

‘The whole state’s frozen. There’s no way I can get back before the storm passes. No planes are going anywhere, and no one wants to see them try to take off in this condition. I’ll be back as soon as I’m able.’

‘Ted Cruz got down to Cancun, why can’t you get back to San Diego?’

‘Ted Cruz is a senator and has donors who will pull strings for him. I’m an advertising executive and I don’t have that kind of pull with anyone. Yet.’

‘Well, get it and get back here. I’ll make it worth it if you get back in time.’

He didn’t have to ask, ‘And if not?’ He knew. That combination of cajoling and demanding and promising made his head spin, but in this case, there really was nothing he could do.

He sat on the bed talking to her through his tablet and tried to make her see the logic of the situation. ‘The runways are frozen, there’s no way anyone’s taking off today from any airport in the state – or at least in the eighty percent of Texas that I’m in.’

He tapped the screen in an attempt to make their pictures the same size rather than one large image of himself and Tammy tiny in one corner of the screen. What happened was he tapped the camera button and suddenly heard Tammy screech, ‘Thomas Stone, who is in that room with you?’

‘Housekeeping. It’s just the cleaner.’ He frantically tapped the screen to focus the camera back on himself.

‘In a towel? You best be home on the next flight or you’ll be so sorry you got on a plane in the first place.You hear me?’ Tammy broke the connection and Thomas exhaled. 

‘Housekeeping, Tommy?’ Rod from Accounting slid into the bed next to him, and reaching under the cover said, ‘I’ll try to make this worth your while.’

For three weeks, I used a random number generator to select one of Shakespeare’s sonnets (1-154) and a line number (1-14) and I used that line as a prompt for some writing. This is the first one.

Andrew awoke with the sound of the wind whipping through the tarp he wrapped himself and his belongings in each night. There had been no wind when he’d gone to sleep. Everything was wrapped up so that he’d be awakened should anyone disturb his stuff. 

He didn’t consider himself wretched by any means – he had clothes for the weather and books and a few regulars who tossed him coins and sometimes a sandwich.

His hard bed of a sidewalk kept his back aligned if he didn’t move too much in the night and he could sometimes even wash his clothes.

But today his carefully wrapped set-up was fluttering in a storm. The detritus of the street whipped about him and the storm whipped his skin, his hair and pieces of his life away. The book, wrapped in a zipped plastic bag that had been his pillow, was whisked down the street as soon as Andrew lifted his head. Now on its way down the street, he’d only had about twenty pages left of it to read. He knew of course that Miss Marple would solve the case of X and Y, but he was sad not to be able to finish it. It might have been the least of his possessions, but as his life flew away in the storm it was the most important. He also didn’t have another book to read. 

What made him most wretched is that he’d have to pack up all his stuff in this wretched weather and find a shelter. Somewhere.All the other homeless on his block of downtown street were doing the same. 

He started to hear the grumbling of the hard sleepers around him, but the wind tore their words away as soon as they were spoken. No one on the street said anything new anymore and even if this storm was real, it wasn’t making anything better and whatever the rest of the folks on the street had to say would differ in degree, not in actual content. 

He went to work wrapping his possessions again, more meager now. He reined in the blowing tarp. And rolled a blanket and a metal plate and bowl and thought about the dog – Billiard, she’d been called – weird to name a girl dog after a game played with a stick and balls. But someone had lured Billiard away. Andrew knew about the dog fights that people gambled on, but pushed the thought of his gentle dog being used that way from his head and concentrated again on getting his gear into a form he could carry. Somewhere.